Thanks, guys. It was a lot of fun! Rick, I asked them to be able to wear Hawaiian shirts, but I couldn’t find one in purple and white (our tribal colors that were also used for the tournament) that they would approve! Think the shirts in my size made the pineapples look too big! I was used in the morning wave hours when I did starting of the groups…don’t think any of that made the telecast. As for announcing the groups reaching 18 on Saturday and Sunday, I have not been able to watch all of the coverage yet to see if any of the announcements were captured. I did see myself in the background on several shots, as I was seated about 50 feet off the green to front left, trying to stay out of the way between announcements.
The golfers were all fantastic to meet. It’s funny how when you see them so much on television, you get the feeling you already know them. Well, some I have met over the years, as I have done announcing for four different weeks of Symetra Tour events. Some of the ladies even recognized me from prior years, which was gratifying. Commissioner Mike Whan complemented my pronunciation of the names just before the Trophy Presentation on the 18th green, saying he knows getting them right is not an easy task for their tour. He even came down to say hello while the final group putted out, and proceeded to steal my chair! LOL He was wearing some pretty sweet brown wing-tipped golf shoes that truly were not overly gaudy…gotta look for a pair of those.
Christie Kerr made my announcement of her a little easier. The bio card on her which I was given was almost two paragraphs long! She came to the Starter tent and scratched out most of it, told me all I had to announce was how many wins and how many majors, and corrected her city from Miami to Scottsdale.
From the coverage and from the direct comments I heard, the Oneida Nation hit it out of the park in putting on our first tournament. We had over 50,000 folks come through the gates throughout the week, and the players were really appreciative of the crowds – especially for a first year event. The winner, Katherine Kirk of Australia, was even stopping to sign autographs for kids in the middle of the 4th round! You don’t see that on the men’s tours.
At the end, Ashleigh Buhai was really pressing, and was one shot back on 18. Kirk hit first and placed her approach 11 feet under the hole. Buhai promptly stuffed one to 3 feet, and it looked like a playoff was imminent. But, Kirk drained her putt…center of the hole. Buhai made an anticlimactic birdie once the crown quieted down. Kirk was presented with the SkyWoman Trophy, which itself was the subject of quite a bit of buzz. Mike Whan called it the nicest trophy he’d seen in 35 years. I will try to link some posts of coverage below.